Keeping on their tows
Nationwide has made a major decision and switched trucks, writesGRAHAMSMITH
RELIABILITY is crucial when you’re running a business that rescues stranded motorists; it was one of the key reasons Ian McMillan switched from Isuzu trucks to Hinos for his towing service.
McMillan is the director of Nationwide Towing Service, a Melbourne-based company operating 145 trucks out of three suburban depots.
It’s the largest commercial towing company in Victoria and one of the biggest in the country.
Nationwide Towing is contracted to the RACV to rescue members in distress in metropolitan Melbourne, with 27 Hino 500s dedicated to the RACV job and painted in its bright yellow livery.
Completing about 250,000 tows a year, 150,000 of them for the RACV, Nationwide Towing & Transport will carry cars, machinery, forklifts, buses, caravans, trucks, shipping containers, sheds and generators anywhere in Australia. It doesn’t attend crashes.
When one of your missions is to rescue motorists stranded by the roadside, it’s vital you get to them as soon as possible, which makes reliability one of the highest considerations when selecting a truck.
McMillan has used Isuzu trucks since he and two partners started Nationwide Towing 21 years ago, but made the momentous decision to buy Hino trucks after losing faith in Isuzu.
There were a number of issues with the Isuzu trucks, he says, but one troublesome truck in particular triggered his decision.
The move was aided by Melbourne’s Prestige Hino, which went the extra mile to see McMillan was satisfied, something he says Isuzu and its dealer didn’t seem so keen to do.
‘‘Making a move like we did was a bit of a punt, but there were a few things happening with Isuzu that I didn’t like,’’ McMillan says.
‘‘They were having lots of issues, among them a truck that gave us a lot grief over about six months with an intermittent problem they couldn’t fix.’’
That started McMillan looking at other makes, Hino one of them.
McMillan says he couldn’t be happier since making the switch.
‘‘Since I’ve got into it I haven’t regretted it one single moment,’’ he says.
The Hinos, 10.4-tonne GVM medium-duty 500s, have been utterly reliable, so reliable he dubs them the ‘‘Toyota of trucks’’.
‘‘If you want a car that’s going to get you from A to B more often without any problems, you’d buy a Toyota. If you want to do it looking flash, you’d probably buy something else,’’ McMillan says.
On any given morning there could be 40 to 50 urgent towing jobs that have come in overnight, making reliability a key factor.
‘‘Being No.1 in towing is about fast turnarounds and minimum downtime of our fleet, and with the Hinos we are confident about getting the job done on time,’’ McMillan says.
In addition to its reliability McMillan says the Hino has been economical in service with Nationwide Towing and also satisfies his needs for operator comfort and safety.
But it always comes back to the reliability of the trucks, he says, and Hino stands out.
Fleet street: Nationwide boss Ian McMillan says reliability prompted him to switch to Hinos for their towing service.